The weather may not feel like it yet, but “leaf season” is upon us, and City of Knoxville Public Service crews will kick off leaf collection on Thursday, Nov. 3.
City residents can rake or blow leaves to the curb for City crews to collect, avoiding the alternative of an agonizing weekend stuffing leaves into trash bags.
On average, City crews collect more than 6,000 tons of leaves each year. Workers from the Public Service Department shift from brush collection in order to address leaf collection full-time for 12 consecutive weeks.
“The next two months are the most demanding for our staff, who work hard to provide the most convenient services to homes in Knoxville,” said Chad Weth, Director of the Public Service Department. “We establish an aggressive schedule in an effort to get as much done before Christmas as possible.”
The City currently has 20 trucks and 60 staff members that work on leaf collection routes for an estimated 60,000 households.
Once the thousands of tons of leaves are collected, they are hauled to Nature’s Best Organics, where they are composted to be reused as mulch.
To make sure your leaves make it off your yard and into the City’s trucks, rake your leaves into one continuous row within 5 feet of the curb. That allows the suction devices on the City’s trucks to vacuum up leaves most effectively.
A few very important tips for residents:
- Do not rake leaves into the street. Passing cars likely will scatter and crush the leaf pile before it can be vacuumed up by a Public Service crew.
- Do not to block drainage ditches, mailboxes, sidewalks, etc.
- A long, thin row of leaves is better than a short, wide one.
Also, please don’t mix brush into leaf piles. The City will not pick up mixed piles of leaves, brush or other refuse because the leaf collection equipment is designed to vacuum up leaves and can be damaged by brush.
Collection schedules vary, but residents can call 311 to receive a general timeline for when their house will be serviced next. Or they can visit https://leafpickup.knoxvilletn.gov and type in their street address. For general information, visit www.knoxvilletn.gov/publicservice.